The first week of the summer holidays was a trip to Southampton. In between the obligatory trips to Toys R Us and Ikea there are the visits to family. I always go and see Nanna and Grandad. They both turned 90 in January and are still surprisingly independent (to be honest, I’m always expecting them to pop their clogs). On this visit we went through some of Nanna’s crafty gubbins and it triggered a nostalgic twinge.
Look at this! She embroidered this table cloth in 1945 and she said that she’d like to pass it on to me. Quite chuffed about that. It’s really very pretty. It needs a bit of cleaning (anyone got any advice on how I do that?). She stitched it whilst her brother-in-law was in hospital (he’d had his face torn apart by shrapnel).
Who doesn’t love a bit of vintage embroidery?!
Now that it’s the holidays I won’t have much time but I would love to try something like this. I do tinker with embroidery but don’t do masses of it. It’s another thing to add to the list.
She also decided she didn’t want her spare knitting needles anymore. This is daft because I’m sure she’ll want some of them back. Also, I am terrible at knitting.
She hasn’t given me the ones she regularly uses. I think these are all surplus. In amongst them is a tunisian crochet hook. I got quite excited about this as it coincides with the growing fancy that I want to learn a bit of that.
Then there’s this awesome bag. It needs repairing but I think it’s pretty cool. I think she said a friend gave it to her, I’m not sure. My guess is 1970’s.
I’ve got no clue how to fix the broken bits. To be honest I haven’t checked out how broken it really is. I can just see that the fabric is coming away from the baskety bit.
Upon returning home to Devon I went and rummaged in my own cupboards and dug out a few things.
Nanna made this patchwork blanket for my 18th. For a good couple of years leading up to that birthday I’d see hexagons here and there and ask what they were for. She was always evasive and I wouldn’t get a straight answer. Hah! I have to be careful with it, I think there might still be a pin lodged in the layers somewhere. I found about three when I got it and managed to get a couple out. I use it anyway. Mostly in winter. It is not quite twenty.
Having made a patchwork bag using english paper piecing, I know how this sort of thing is a proper labour of love. And her hexies are smaller than mine!
This is the crochet blanket she made for my eldest boy just over seven years ago, when he was born. It’s a classic Granny and it is this blanket that made me go to my local wool shop and buy my first crochet hook!
Rewind to some point in the 1980’s… This tatty looking thing above is the first piece of crochet I ever attempted. I made this foundation chain and decided that crochet was rubbish. I don’t think it helped that I was told that I must hold the hook a certain way (me n Nanna don’t agree on hook hold). Knitting was easier; I could make squares and scarves and things. This crochet failure was tied to the middle of a Nanna made crochet blanket that I had as a little girl. (I threw it away last year. It was stinky and holey. The foundation chain is the only bit that remains).
She knitted this one, for Eldest boy also.
And as usual, the cat wanted in on it so she clambered on Nanna’s blankets and went to sleep.
I’m still feeling funny about old things (not Nanna and Grandad, the other stuff). I’ve been sorting through my old work from when I first started school. I blame going back to Southampton.
This was when I went to the Hall of Aviation in Southampton (now called Solent Sky). I took my boys last week. Still awesome.
I don’t know if I blame Southampton that much. It might also have been before that because I asked my sister to dig stuff out a few weeks ago. I was watching the Sewing Bee and had begun to wonder when I first started sewing.
I used to sit for hours, hand sewing outfits and accessories for my Sindy. After a while I graduated to the sewing machine. I was around ten when I made this wedding outfit from the leftovers of my other sister’s christening gown. My step mum helped me do this as I don’t think I could have managed those sleeves alone. I think I need to ask Sister to go back in the loft to see if she has the red cordoury dress I made her for Christmas when I was twelve… I was dead proud of myself!
What Sindy/Barbie wouldn’t want knitted clothes?! Some Nanna specials.
I particularly love this coat and I actually think my mum knitted this. It wasn’t passed on to my sisters, it was the only one I kept.
Speaking of my Mum. I’m fairly certain she made this one and the one below. One knitted, one crocheted. Both in the seventies, for my brother. I’m sure she’ll correct me if I’m wrong.
She said this one wasn’t suitable in the end. Too many holes for baby fingers.
Anyway, I’m gonna go. I didn’t realise there was so much from the past that still exists. What the blazes am I gonna do with it all?! Hope there’re no ghostly cooties clingling on to all the dust.